Investigations into the stabilization of drugs by sugar glasses: III. The influence of various high-pH buffers

Eriksson, J. H. C., Hinrichs, W. L. J., de Jong, G. J., Somsen, G. W. & Frijlink, H. W., Sep-2003, In : Pharmaceutical Research. 20, 9, p. 1437-1443 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

PURPOSE: To study the effect of the high-pH buffers ammediol, borax, CHES, TRIS, and Tricine on the glass transition temperature of the freeze concentrated fraction (Tg') of trehalose/buffer and inulin/buffer solutions at pH 6.0 and pH 9.8. Also, the glass transition temperature (Tg) of sugar glasses obtained after freeze drying of these solutions was elucidated. Additionally, the effect occurring during the freezing process on the pH of the various buffers was investigated. Furthermore, the stability of alkaline phosphatase (AP) incorporated in these sugar glasses prepared from solutions at pH 9.8 was evaluated.

METHODS: The Tg' and Tg were measured using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and the change of pH during freezing was estimated by using an indicator solution added to the respective solutions. The enzymatic activity of AP after freeze drying and storage at 60 degrees C was evaluated by an enzymatic activity assay.

RESULTS: It was found that the Tg' and Tg of the samples investigated are strongly influenced by the presence of the buffer. On freezing, only minor changes of the pH were observed. The samples with the lowest Tg and the samples containing buffers that formed complexes with the sugars showed the poorest stability of the AP.

CONCLUSIONS: The stabilizing capacities of sugars that are currently recognized as excellent stabilizers for proteins during drying and storage can be completely lost if certain high-pH buffers such as ammediol, borax, and TRIS are used at high concentrations. Loss of stabilizing capacities can be ascribed to strong depression of the Tg' and Tg or to complex formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1437-1443
Number of pages7
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2003


  • Alkaline Phosphatase, Animals, Buffers, Calorimetry, Differential Scanning, Carbohydrates, Cattle, Crystallization, Drug Stability, Enzyme Stability, Freeze Drying, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Inulin, Pharmaceutical Solutions, Phase Transition, Trehalose

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